Strings 1

‘dreams jangling with lost connections’

March 2024

Do Try to be Useful

Darling bourgeois petites, polite radicals.
Think less of your looks and something more lean out.
Structures aren’t undone by fragile apparel or twisting a sprig of fringe.
Take your bogus hot mess aesthetic and simper elsewhere.
Your counterfeit fury. Your addiction to therapy.
It’s creepy baby. The revolution will not be a relatable white woman orgasm.

Dear cabbage-headed gasbags, gross poseurs.
I am swigging your truffle oil. Glug glug.
I am shitting in your camellias for the merry hell of it.
Stop polishing your mock-thorns.
I snaffle your iphone and fart it into the shrubbery.
You don’t solve a problem like dead girls with spoiled discourse and trifles.

Darling voyeurs, purveyors of ennui.
Your lavender slogans are shadows flitting across the wall.
I am fucking daddy’s trust fund sideways.
Look, no hands! You are weeping and nibbling guiltily
on asparagus. So skinny, so rich, so pretty.
The rage at the end of the world is not pleasant or beautiful.

Dear waggon-jumpers, flaccid apathy-mongers.
Do try to be useful.
I am gobbling the tearporn of your eros, your rebel-chic fetish.
I am vomiting your toadverbs.
This isn’t entertainment. It’s not a photo opportunity.
Never did I love you more. Now go outside and have a word with yourselves.

34 Works

This artwork is masturbating furiously.
This artwork is licking your armpit.
This artwork has been diagnosed with a personality disorder.
This artwork may cause side effects but available data suggests these are rare.
This artwork cannot be named for legal reasons.
This artwork will improve your sex life.
This artwork is so realistic it cannot be grasped by the naked eye.
This artwork wishes you had more ambition.
This artwork will not be apologising for its strong main character energy.
This artwork will be reincarnated as a puppy.
This artwork combines charisma with warm humanity and scholarly humility.
This artwork will play havoc with your digestion.
This artwork smells like Marina Abramović having a shitty day.
This artwork guarantees indifference.
This artwork is made of 90% recycled materials.
This artwork cannot be held responsible for your professional incompetence.
This artwork is also available in mustard.
This artwork will be remembered for its contribution to the world of entertainment.
This artwork is punching your heart like a sad horny child.
This artwork represents a landmark intervention.
This artwork is sleeping with the enemy.
This artwork expects to earn the artist an awful lot of money.
This artwork would like to remind you that other works of art are available.
This artwork tastes like a canticle.
This artwork sounds like capitalism eating itself.
This artwork will do irreversible damage to your morale.
This artwork is dryhumping your leg/furniture/attention [delete as appropriate].
This artwork is an accident waiting to happen.
This artwork will not save you from yourself.
This artwork is a passive-aggressive defence mechanism.
This artwork understands its mechanics are infantile.
This artwork would rather be somewhere else.
This artwork does not have approval from the University of Liverpool ethics committee.
This artwork is literature and you are a loser.

AMY MCCAULEY is a poet and lyricist. She is the author of three publications: Oedipa (Guillemot Press, 2018), 24/7 Brexitland (No Matter Press, 2020), and Propositions (Monitor Books, 2020). Amy has also published poetry in a range of magazines and journals, including Magma, The Stinging Fly, Poetry Wales, and The White Review. In 2016 she won a Northern Writers Award for Poetry.